BVI News

BVIPA deducting ‘quarantine time’ from staff’s vacation allotment

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn said he has received complaints from staff at the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) that their vacation allocations were unfairly being deducted for quarantine purposes if they are suspected to have COVID-19.

The BVI experienced an unprecedented outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus recently, resulting in more than 30 deaths and more than 1,600 persons testing positive within the last month. The public has since been asked by health officials to voluntarily quarantine for two weeks where they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms.

But Penn told JTV’s The Big Story recently that staff was being short-changed as a result of this.

“If they contract COVID-19 on the job, they would be paid. But if you’re on probation, you’ll be dropped off the payroll,” Penn claimed.

According to Penn, he was also told that staff who acquired the virus off the job, would have their monies deducted from their vacation pay.

Penn stated that he saw the official document from the BVIPA that spoke to the issue, so he was not speaking from hearsay.

Staff who did not have vacation pay, he further stated, would be dropped off the payroll.

Staff should not be penalised for falling ill

The Opposition Leader said COVID-19 was no one’s fault and staff should not be penalised for becoming ill.

Penn said the BVIPA’s policy was being enacted at a time when persons could ill-afford to lose a paycheck and were struggling to make ends meet.

He warned that the policy will most likely lead to persons not disclosing to the Authority that they may have been exposed or contracted the virus if they are in danger of losing a paycheque.

“You are now forcing persons to do things for their own best interest because, at the end of the day, this is a government entity,” Penn said.

Businesses likely to follow the government’s lead

Penn said the private sector is likely to follow the lead of government if this were to continue to happen. He also noted that BVIPA workers were allowed 12 sick days per year.

The Opposition Leader further noted the recent incident where the BVIPA cut staff salaries for low-level workers during a mandatory COVID-19 lockdown last year, and said the entity is yet to restore those monies to its staff. 

Executive staff at the time were not affected in the staff pay cuts.

BVI News sent WhatsApp messages to the BVIPA’s Marketing Director, Natasha Chalwell — a designated media liaison for the statutory body — to confirm whether Penn’s claims were true. Our news centre did not receive a response up to publication time.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

44 Comments

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  1. Yea says:

    This is the reason why they will report the or illness. That’s blasted HR Manager needs to go.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  2. SMH says:

    SMDH😫😖😫

  3. Easy answer says:

    Get vaccinated, stay healthy and keep your vacation!
    Gee, that was easy, why didn’t the workers think of that?

    Like 16
    Dislike 42
    • @easy says:

      what happens when you get vaccinated and get sick as well?

      Like 17
    • Deharba says:

      Getting Vaccinated is no guarantee that you will not get sick. The Delta strain of the🦠 is affecting those who have been vaccinated. Some people also got the COVID-19 after vaccination so let each person choose for themselves. Peace

  4. Boo hoo says:

    Soooo. Are you working when quarantining? No? Are you sick? No? Then you are on vacay. Why should vaccinated people carry your workload while you chill at home doing nothing? You made the choice. Seems fair to me.

    Like 32
    Dislike 27
    • @ bo hoo says:

      So u are assuming that none of the vaccinated people contracted covid. You are saying that all of the staff who were exposed were unvaccinated. Becuz if that’s not what you are saying I’m hoping your statement applies to the vaccinated staff who also had to quarantine or contracted the virus.

      Like 13
      Dislike 3
      • no quarantine says:

        The government order at that time only required unvaccinated people to quarantine if they had been exposed. Everyone gets to make a choice but they need to accept the consequences that come with each choice.

        Like 5
        Dislike 4
        • @ No quarantine says:

          Everyone still do have a choice please remember the statement that you made. Time will tell who will suffer the consequences of this vaccination situation

      • @@bo hoo says:

        I refer you to my second question. If you are sick then it is sick leave. Your test result should cover that.

    • @Boo hoo says:

      Are you saying vaccinated people cant be exposed. You all are so dumb, the Government said stay home jack dummy, the Government.

      Like 7
      Dislike 5
  5. Anonymous says:

    If you have vacation time and wish to take it during quarentine that is your choice, not the employers. So you either stay home, quarentine and get paid nothing and save your vacation time or call in and take advantage of vacation days owed so you have money coming in the door.

    You certainly don’t get the right to be paid if you’re in quarentine doing nothing. If you’re being asked to work then slightly different story.

    You also have Social Security options too if time is extended for illness.

    But stop expecting free money for nothing. Such an ingrained position for civil sevrvants while the private sector is left in tatters.

    Like 23
    Dislike 8
  6. Covid testing says:

    So I “may” have been exposed, so I should stay home and quarantine for 2 weeks on full pay? Ridiculous! Staff should have been tested and allowed back to work if negative. Vaccinated or not, makes no difference. If positive, stay home until you get a negative test. Simple!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  7. BVITB says:

    T B doing the same thing! That new HR needs to go!! She just come and already gone on 3 weeks vacation, I bet she didn’t deduct the quarantine days for herself. Things that make you go hmmmm!

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
    • Lol says:

      Same puppet master beeevis and buthead.

    • Question says:

      Them send her home from up the port meeno how she get TB.

    • Smh says:

      You sound mad that your HR manager was able to go on three weeks vacation perhaps you need to take a vacation from on here hating!

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • Really says:

      I guess you don’t know that the person that you speak of is fully vaccinated, why would she need to take quarantine days. You sound bitter. Get a life!

    • @bvitb says:

      You sound hurt! Perhaps you should try taking a 3 week vacation. Your new Hr person is one of the best that I’ve ever came across, she truly looks out for people. You probably can’t walk in her shoes or even come close to it so you are mad.

      Like 2
      Dislike 2
  8. @bvitb says:

    No… what needs to go is the attitude. People think they should be allowed to sit at home do nothing and get paid…. if you weren’t sick but had to quarantine due to being unvaccinated you should not have been paid.

    Like 17
    Dislike 5
  9. Ayo says:

    Ayo sound so stupid, anyone could get covid at anytime. So basically, if I have been exposed i should not say, and go work still and maybe spread the vírus because i still need to get pay because i do not have any vacation days Not every company have the tech to work from home. You think anybody want to stay home for a long period without pay and have bills to pay.

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
    • Finance says:

      Them mad that the people got covid and they had to pay them to querentine. They need to tell the us how some of the staff ended up positive.

    • Ummm says:

      Anyone can’t get Covid anytime! No one should take care of you but yourself. Take some responsibility – get vaccinated, wear a mask AND additional protective clothing if relevant for the kind of work you do, and keep your DISTANCE. Wash your hands, wear gloves, stop licking your fingers and picking your nose. Keep clean and keep your space. You won’t get COVID.

      Like 4
      Dislike 4
  10. Tell me says:

    So how would you treat a construction worker that has to quarantine? Should the employer still pay and pass the cost to the customer they are building that house for? Please reply, let’s have a discussion. Anything in the Labour Code?

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  11. Soc Sec says:

    Can you get sickness benefit from Soc Sec for covid when you are asymptomatic and have to stay home? Or do you need to have a little sniffle or cough? Will a doctor note suffice in either case? What do you think?

  12. What!!! says:

    Only government workers think they should be paid if they are not at work. Go in the real world and try that.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  13. Reality says:

    Some of them have gone over their sick days so now the BVIPA is trying to help them to continue to get paid by offering them to use their vacation days. If they don’t want to do that they can just go to file for Social Security simple.

    You cannot be home, free doing not a damn thing and want to get paid, keep your vacation days and get free money.

    Smurf pick your damn battles better, not just because its affecting the people close to you.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
    • costa says:

      Shut up. You kissing butt to being paid money for work you cant do. Your friend give you a job pay u more than the other hr staff. Trouble maker. Try to put a Bvilander out of work with your fake santo body.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
      • @costa says:

        Well ain’t the same one with the fake Santo body the one that supposedly spread the virus, knowing her bf was sick and she reported to work. She should have been suspended 2 weeks without pay or even terminated for such negligent behavior. But then again she carry news to the big heffe so nothing will come out of that.

        Just another day at the Authority.

      • Reality says:

        I don’t work the port or know who is the Santo you are referring to….I just deal in reality.

    • @Reality says:

      Why are you talking the Authority employees business like that. Boy HR at the Port lacks some serious levels of confidentiality.

  14. Public servant that is vaccinated says:

    The problem is the current system – you get exposed or you say you are exposed and you are sent home for 10 days without a test. Why can’t we do like other countries
    If you are vaccinated then you can test each day and return if you are not vaccinated you stay home and test day four
    But you can’t be paid anymore as you chose not to get vaccinated and I respect that choice but I choose not to use public funds to pay you to sit at home
    Make people either vaccinate or pcr test at own expense
    Time to get the BVI open

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
    • Tests says:

      In my experience I was exposed. 4 days later I had symptoms. I lateral flow tested every day but didn’t get a positive until day 6. If I hadn’t been isolating and had been relating on the test result then I would have spread that all over the place. I would say at least a week isolation is necessary.

  15. @costa says:

    Who paid for the fake body??? You or your muddah?

    It maybe fake but you man dribbling for a taste. LOL

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  16. Devils Advocate says:

    So the employee goes to the club. Gets exposed to the zombie strippers. Gets a free test and two weeks off paid. Seems legit.

  17. Tola says:

    This organization need proper management. It gone to the dogs

  18. E5ND says:

    Port doing alot of bs moving staff to different places and not paying taking advantage. If you dont carry news or suck up under certain people you ain’t getting s**t

  19. The Unvax cant have it their way says:

    If They chose to be unvax I will support the BVIPA. As a matter a fact I will support every employer for doing this, its a choice to be Vax or unvax..Its time to let them kno that Decisions have consequences..Cant continue to allow them to eat up all the medical and business resources..

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  20. Nonsense says:

    First, I’d like to think BVI people maybe aren’t uneducated but lacking in up-to-date information. Many people here continuously say it’s the unvaccinated fault and people should just get the shot. Or even saying there should be consequences. Yes, those not vaccinated can catch variants more readily, however it was also proven that vaccinated persons can not only become infected but also be carriers/human transporters for the virus. Vaccinated person took less precautions because they were told that they would be safe once getting their shot(s). Many people have seen that vaccinated persons can still get the delta variant but many vaccinated may not even be aware that their is a lamda vaccine resistant variant also spreading at the same time. Just putting that out there. Glass houses and all that…

  21. Vaccine? says:

    You don’t die if you get the vaccine…those are the facts.
    Yes, you can get Covid, but YOU DON’T DIE.
    Not a small point.
    When you have to quarantine, you are protecting the people that might die (because they are un-vaccinated). Please everyone, get the jab! It is good for everyone. Then we can stop talking about all this sick leave vs. vacation nonsense!
    I want my BVI back. You crazy people.

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